*File picture of Rivers State Governor, Barrister Nyesom Wike
Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General (DG) of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), is happy with the firm stance of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, for taking the lockdown order in Rivers State very seriously. He said it was the most effective way of ensuring that the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19) is curtailed.
The DG who has been visiting different states across the country with his team to sensitise Nigerians of the need to take the issue of COVID-19 serious spoke during a meeting with Wike and officials of NCDC at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. The meeting held earlier today.
He said: “This is a working visit. I want to thank you for your firm, strong, committed and personally led response to Covid-19 in Rivers State. Rivers is one of the most important gateways into the country; one of the most important economies in the country. So, Rivers is important, not only to you but to the entire country. We thank you very much for your leadership and we need your leadership to continue in order for us to continue doing our work nationally.”
The NCDC boss said that his team was in Rivers State to engage with the state Public Health team to consolidate on the successes on the fight COVID-19. He said, “This is actually a joint team. I have come with the officer in charge of World Health Organisation (WHO). We have come together to offer our support.”
Dr. Ihekweazu stated that given the novel nature of the Coronavirus, there was need for all stakeholders to work together to defeat the deadly virus, which is ravaging the globe. Again, he said, “We share information across the states to make sure that everyone is informed as they can possibly be. We share information on new developments, strategies, what works and what doesn’t work.”
According to him, since the lockdown cannot continue indefinitely, stakeholders, he explained must work towards gradually reopening the economy without endangering the lives of the populace. In his reaction, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Princewill Chike, assured that the Rivers State Governor has strengthened the Public Health System of the state to fight coronavirus.
He said, “Since January, Rivers State has had two cases of coronavirus. A 19-year-old model and a 62-year-old retiree. They have been treated and discharged. All the 214 persons that had contact with them were placed under surveillance. Except for two cases, all other contacts have exited Isolation,” he said. He attributed the success of Rivers to what he called the proactive approach of Governor Wike in tackling coronavirus centres mainly on early detection, prevention and treatment.